What is Becoming?
An Olive Baptist Church life group for single women 22-29 years old. These are amazing young women who are starting careers and seeking God’s direction for their future. We meet once a week to dig into God’s word, have a fun time of fellowship, and pray for one another. Our current study is Jesus in Everyday Life, and each week questions are posted here for the upcoming discussion.
WEEK #6 ~ MAKING GODLY CHOICES IN AN
UNGODLY CULTURE (Part 1)
For the next two weeks we are taking a different direction. Part 1 is “Questions to Ask Yourself” and Part 2 will be “Discerning God’s Answers”. I would ask you to do three things before coming Monday:
- Pray for our Becoming group over the next several days. Just pray as God leads. I am sensing strongly He is raising up each of you to be strong leaders ~ a group of set apart women. Women who are liked and respected, yet not settling for the average Jesus life. You were made for more than to settle for what you redeemed from!
- Pray for yourself. God is doing something unique in you. What is God telling you? Don’t run from it: embrace it. Whether it is a job decision, relationship struggle, or ethical choices in everyday life, the path to finding answers are the same.
- Take a quiet time and read and mark for Monday these verses: Colossians 3:17, 1 Corinthians 10:31, 1 Corinthians 10:23, John 16:13, Galatians 5:16, Hebrews 12:1, Colossians 3:23, 1 Peter 5:8 and 9, and Galatians 6:7.
- Make a commitment to do all you can to be here the next two weeks. All the lessons are special and God will have a word for us. But many of you have shared where you are in life with me, and I am praying we seek the way forward together.
Week #5 ~ A Listening Life in a Hurried World
Jesus was always traveling, always on the go. Yet, he made time to stop and listen to others. Read the following passages: 1. Make notes about each scene, emotions, conversation, and outcome. 2. How do you see Jesus give his full attention, focus, and time to these women? 3. What does it teach you about the importance of being fully present for people in need? 4. Which event do you connect with most personally and why?
- Woman with the issue of blood ~ Mark 5:25-34
- Mother of the demon possessed daughter ~ Matthew 15:21-28
- Martha grieving Lazarus’ death ~ John 11:17-27
- A sinful woman anointing Jesus with expensive oil ~ Luke 7:36-50
5. Self Examination Time: Which is the most difficult for you? Which event can you apply to helping you change and become a better listener to God and to others?
- Looking at/not being distracted while someone is sharing
- Fully focusing and not thinking of other things (or if on phone doing other things)
- Giving your opinion(s) throughout conversation
Week #4 ~ FROM FEAR TO FAITH
1. What was the worst actual storm you have experienced? What words best describe how it looked, how you felt, and how you responded? 2. Read Mark 4:35-41. What are initial thoughts and impressions? 3. Jesus tells the disciples, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.” Apply to your life. Is He asking you to go somewhere or do something with Him?” 4. How did the disciples react to this storm? And what did many of them do for a living? (Read Mark 1:16-19.) So how strong can we surmise this storm was? 5. Jesus is sleeping while the boat is listing wildly and being swamped. The disciples ask Him, “Don’t you care we are drowning?” How would you complete this sentence about you or someone else: “Jesus, don’t you care_______________________________________________________? 6. Why do you think Jesus didn’t calm the storm before the disciples began to get really frightened and stressed out? How does this apply to your journey from fear to faith? 7. Jesus rebuked the storm with the words, “Silence! Be still!” The Greek translation of “Be quiet!” in Mark 1:25 has the same meaning. Do you see any similarities in the two events? How does this deepen your understanding of Jesus’ power? 8. The disciples are still afraid after Jesus calms the sea and wind. Remember when you have come through a difficult time. Did you feel this way? Why? 9. Now it’s your turn! Read verse 41 and write a question (and of course answer it) to complete the lesson. Yes, I will be asking you to share and I can’t wait to hear your insight! Think through these questions we will discuss: How to Evaluate Fear
- Is this fear healthy and God-given or something you created/imagined?
- Is it based on fact or fiction?
- Is it likely or unlikely?
- Can you realistically lower chance of it happening?
- Do I need to address or ignore?
- Will this fear prevent me from achieving something God wants me to do?
- Am I willing to stay the way I am or step out and experience life?
DIGGING INTO IT
View online a copy of Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee. Where are you in the painting? Where do you live most of your life? If you live in the chaos, can you picture yourself moving to the place of peace? Read Psalm 27 and/or 91 aloud. Insert the details of your fears and the appropriate person’s names. Be as specific as possible and make notes in your Bible of how God helped you by doing this exercise. Might want to date it, too, for future reference and praise to HIM.
Ask a few friends/family/co-workers you trust this question: “What do you think I am afraid of? What would you advise me to do?” Consider carefully who you asked because maturity and Biblical perspective are important.
Week #3 ~ Behind the Mask-ara: Getting Real About Performance, Forgiveness, and Grace
Focus Text: John 8:1-11
Ladies ~ I am obsessed with this passage! Every time I have read it something wow jumps out. I am praying for each of you to sense the same and come ready to dive into this Monday.
We will study the three main characters: the accusers (Pharisees), the forgiver (Jesus), and the forgiven (the adulterous woman).
Monday night we will go verse by verse and explore what God has to teach us about judging others, extending forgiveness, and receiving a tender, loving second chance. All three are areas we have or will identify with throughout our lives. And authenticity (being real, honest, transparent with ourselves and others) is a quiet theme woven throughout the lesson.
Read the passage and write notes/thoughts on these questions.
The word “Pharisee” is translated from the Greek word hypokrites, meaning one who puts on a mask and pretends to be something he is not. How does this apply in this passage? Today, how does this possibly affect the body of Christ in our witness to the world? What mask do you or are you tempted to wear to keep people from seeing the real you (confession: mine is perfectionism)? The religious ones were trying to trap or pull a “gotcha” on Jesus (read Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22 to understand the context). How can recognizing (aloud or silently) the sins of others wrongly make us feel better about ourselves? Write your thoughts about a time this may have happened in your life and how it affected you spiritually. How did God gently correct you? The Pharisees were masters at “majoring in the minors” and focusing on traditions and “check lists” that really looked good. What is the difference in living your own life under law vs grace? Which one are you primarily living today?
I hurt for this woman. Yes, she sinned. But she was used as bait and to be a sinful example in front of others. Explain the difference in someone publically vs privately confronting you about a sin. How does this help you understand the correct way to Biblically judge someone (see John 7:24 and Matthew 18:15) and give hope rather than harm? Jesus waited until all the accusers left before dealing with her sin. How might this have affected her response to Him? What character/godly traits do you see in this picture?
Rather than responding to their accusations, Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dirt. From what you know of Jesus, why would He react in such a way? Compare Jesus’ two challenges and their meanings. How do they apply to your life? “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (Pharisees) “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more/leave your life of sin.” (woman)
After you answer each question, mark the one which impacted you most. How does Jesus love, compassion, and grace impact you as a woman?
I will have Digging Into It and Doing It challenges at class Monday night.
Week #2 ~ Wanting What God Wants for Me
Discussing It: Focus Text: Matthew 20:20-28 1. Read Matthew 20:20-28 throughout the week. Write the thoughts and reactions you have to James and John and their mother’s request of Jesus. 2. Jesus responded with two thought provoking questions: “What is it you want?” Ask yourself honestly, “What is it (your name) wants?” Materially ~ Professionally ~ Physically ~ Spiritually ~ We should confront our motives to discern God’s plan. Check out these verses and share how each guides a follower of Christ to know whether desires are Spirit or self driven. Proverbs 16:2 Proverbs 21:8 James 4:3 Galatians 1:10 “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” Saying we will follow Christ sounds good (and we really feel that way), but obedience is required. Scripture reveals the steps in desiring what He desires for us. What do these verses say about making that reality? How does that apply in your life? Romans 12:1-2 Hebrews 12:1 Proverbs 23:26 3. God wants to be the greatest passion of every believer’s life. As we grow to love the Lord more intimately and enjoy Him for who He is, our self-focused wants are replaced by His perfect will and purpose for us. So, what is the process to making this happen? Psalm 37: 4-7 gives five actions which guide us to the developing a heart that longs for His plans. How do you see God working in these areas to change your desires to His? (NASB version)
- “Trust in the Lord and do good”
- “Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness”
- “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”
- “Commit your way to the Lord”
- “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him”
Digging Into It: None this week. Doing It: Are you trying to discern if a good thing is a God thing? Fast it for a short period of time. Pray and read your Bible (in a quiet place if possible). Ask God for clarity and to hear His voice of truth.
Week #1 ~ So Long, Self!
Focus Passage: John 13:1-17 Discussing It 1) Read the focus passage at least 3 different days. Write brief notes on what the Holy Spirit impressed you about it. What were you feeling as you read? Did you see something unique each time you read it? 2) Read Philippians 2:5-8. How does this help you understand Jesus’ responses in verse 4?
- “Laying aside His garments robe” = laying aside His position
- “Girded himself about” = put on a servant’s apron
- “Poured water into basin” = emptying Himself
3) Let’s go to Luke 22:24-27 and see something else happening.
- Verse 24: As Jesus was preparing the disciples for His suffering what were they more concerned about. Draw a parallel to your life and how you might respond when He is preparing you for a difficulty.
- Verses 25-27: What was Christ’s attitude and response to them? Again, compare to how He responded to you in situation above.
4) Here are examples of how self looks like. Choose two and write what God revealed in this week’s study about changes He desires to make in your life. I want my own way. I worry about what others think of me. I want to get credit and be recognized. I think I know best (hint: check out Peter’s dialogue with Jesus) I make excuses and/or am really defensive when corrected. I expect others to respond to and meet my needs. Digging Into It (optional for going deeper) 1) Study these verses and journal how they apply to saying yes to God in your life.
- 1 Peter 4:2
- Romans 8:1
- 1 Peter 2:11
- Galatians 5:16
2) Check out this article about some amazing women who said no to their life agendas. As you read it be open to what God may speak about pouring out your life for Him. Doing it (optional for going deeper still) 1) Dying to self is giving up all the whats, hows, where and whens of our lives and allowing God to lead us for His purposes. Be honest: let’s talk about the initial reaction you may have to this. Write a prayer to God, telling Him where you are today in this process. What are your fears? What, at this moment, would be scary to live without? 2) Give in to someone and humbly let him/her have their way. No sarcasm. No deep sighs, eye rolling, or other outward reactions. Ask God during the situation to help you respond like Christ. ‘Cause, girl, this is tough! 3) Be intentional to note selfish vs. selfless choices you have for one day. Thank God for what he taught you, no matter which won out. At the end of the day reflect on how this changed your connection with God.